Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye
by Sarah Dessen
402 Pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Source: Library

Another town?

Another new school?

Mclean really doesn't mind. In fact, she welcomes the chance to try on a new persona. Ever since her parent's bitter divorce, she and her father have been on the move, leaving the unhappy past behind them. and each move has brought a fresh opportunity for Mclean to reinvent herself. Perky rah-rah girl. Drama mama. All-around joiner.

But here in Lakeview, for the first time she's putting down roots, making friends, and just trying to be someone she hasn't been in a long time: herself. Dave has something to do with it. He's the most real person Mclean's ever met, and he thinks he's falling in love with the real Mclean. Mcelan doesn't even know who that is anymore, but she wants to find out - before it's time to move on again.

If you've read a Sarah Dessen novel before then you probably know her usual formula. Troubled girl finds an equally troubled boy and before you know it they learn all about themselves and each other and then they fall in love, the end. But even with this fairly basic plot line Sarah Dessen has always managed to capture my attention and teach me something in the process. I'm happy to say that What Happened to Goodbye is no exception. While I didn't enjoy it as much as some of her other novels *cough* Along for the Ride *cough* What Happened to Goodbye still turned out to be the perfect end-of-the-summer contemporary. It was insightful, full of fun moments, and it involved restaurants. I don't know about you guys but I'm a firm believer that food makes everything better. :P Finally there was a wonderful cast of quirky characters that really made this book come to life. I wasn't a huge fan of Mclean (she was a fine character, just a little flat for me) but I really loved Dave (smart AND cute. Always a plus!) and Deb. I've honestly never encountered a character like Deb before. She was just so eclectic and surprising!

What Happened to Goodbye gets 4 out of 5 ice cream cones!

If you're looking for a contemporary that has the perfect mix of insight and fun then What Happened to Goodbye is for you!

Julia :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Words Wednesday [27]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes! This week's quote is from Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King.

"If we're supposed to ignore everything that's wrong with our lives, then I can't see how we'll ever make things right."

This quote is unbelievably true. Sometimes we'll just ignore problems in our lives but that doesn't make them disappear. To really deal with our problems we have to face them head on.

If you haven't read Please Ignore Vera Dietz then you really should. Its absolutely fantastic and this quote is just one of the many examples of its awesomeness.

Julia :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cover Comparisons [11]

I haven't actually read Inside Out (thought its been on my TBR list for awhile now) but I just couldn't resist doing a cover comparison for it. This is probably because I absolutely adore one of its covers.... But I'm getting ahead of myself. Lets take a look at the two covers shall we?

                                             US Cover                      UK Cover

US Cover: This cover is weird to me. Everything about it feels very clinical. Plus, the way the girl is breaking through the paper creeps me out. Its like she's coming to get me or something.... >.<

UK Cover: THIS COVER IS SO AMAZING! I actually didn't want to read Inside Out until I saw this cover. Its just so gorgeous. The lighting, and mysterious shadow figure are both very intriguing, plus I love the tagline! Why didn't they use it on the US cover? It would have been a welcome addition.

So who wins? I definitely prefer the UK cover. Its mysterious, and dynamic, and the tagline is epic! The US cover just can't compare.

Which cover of Inside Out do YOU like best? Be sure to vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments about why you made your decision!

Julia :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Awesome TV show suggestions (because I don't just read books ya know!)

I know I normally write about books and all but sometimes a girl has just got to gush about her favorite TV Shows. I'm not really a TV addict (this is probably because my mom happens to hate TV....) but there are some shows that I just can't resist watching. So here is my list of TV shows that I LOVE.

1. Sherlock

If you like Sherlock Holmes then YOU MUST WATCH THIS SHOW. I was a little apprehensive about it at first because its set in the modern day, but I had nothing to worry about. Sherlock turned out to be better then I could have ever imagined. Its smart, suspenseful, and the acting is superb. Plus Martin Freeman, the actor who plays Watson, is going to be Bilbo in the new Hobbit movie. How can you not like a TV show that has Bilbo in it?! The only problem with Sherlock is that Season 2 doesn't air until 2012 and they ended the first season at a really terrible cliff hanger. Like, the worst cliff hanger known to man. So if you don't like cliff hangers you might want to wait a couple months before you pick this up. Just a warning!

2. Awkward

If you follow me on Twitter then you might have seen me tweeting my love for this show. ITS SO AMAZING! Big shout out to to Lisa and Laura Roecker for getting me to watch this! If you like YA (which I know you all do!) then you will LOVE Awkward. It basically encompasses the awkward high school years to a tee. You watch it and all you can do is laugh and think "gosh, this is so AWKWARD!" which is what makes it so perfect. Its real, and hilarious, and if that weren't enough there's a super cute guy in it too. >.< Oh and did I mention that one of the characters is basically my twin? Yeah check it out:

Pretty freaky right? Red streak and all.

Anyway Awkward is probably my favorite TV show right now so if you haven't seen it yet you should definitely take the time to watch it here.

3. Supernatural

One of my good friends introduced me to this show recently and I just love it! This might have something to do with Sam Winchester's puppy dog eyes (I'm a sucker for puppy dog eyes.... >.<) but mostly I like the fact that the show is funny, and completely badass all at the same time. Oh and Jensen Ackles should totally play Finnick in Catching Fire. Just saying. :)

4. Glee

And last but not least Glee! I will admit this show is a bit soap operaesque for me (seriously how many times do people have to break up in one season?!) but I just can't resist the singing and dancing. I'm such a theatre kid. :P Plus they're introducing new characters from The Glee Project for Season 3. I'm a big Damian McGinty fan and I can't wait to see him on the show! Honestly, he is the main reason why I'm excited for the new season to start.

So those are the top 4 TV shows that I'm loving right now! Do you guys watch any of these shows? What are some other shows that you like to watch?

Julia :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday [13]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking The Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on The Language of Impossible Dreams by Sarah Ockler!

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life...and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last....

When I found about this book I basically squealed with joy! Sarah Ockler is definitely one of my favorite authors. I read and loved both Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah so I think its pretty safe to say that I have high hopes for The Language of Impossible Dreams! I mean come on, its got: cupcakes, diners, New York, and ice skating! That's a winning combination if I've ever heard of one.

This one won't be released till August 2012. SUCH A LONG WAIT!!!! :P

Julia :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Harry Potter Hilarity

I was on Twitter the other day and ran into a bunch of hilarious Harry Potter images so I thought I would share the Harry Potter hilarity with everyone!

I'm sorry Voldemort, but the bald look just isn't for everyone.
 I don't know whats more disturbing: The fact Voldemort has hair, or the fact he's wearing a dress... >.<

I basically died when I saw this one. Rons face? Priceless! Then again aren't all Ron's faces priceless?

 Deadly halitosis is no laughing matter! Haha no but really this is great. Damn You Auto Correct is always good for a laugh.

I just love these. ITS. SO. TRUE. Oh and I really want that lion hat. :)

Because who would have thought that Neville would turn out to be the cutest one of all!!!

And finally my personal favorite....

HECK YES!!!!!!! :D

Julia :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Dinotastic Edition

This week's Kawaii Monday features my toy dinosaur collection! I'm a HUGE sucker for dinosaurs. Ever since I was a little kid (anyone else remember The Land Before Time?) I've loved dinosaurs, but it wasn't until recently that I actually started collecting toy dinosaurs. Here's my collection so far:

I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!! :D 

That big one in the back? His name is Norbert. Why yes I do name some of my dinosaurs. :P

 This one is my favorite! HE'S SO STINKIN CUTE!!!! *hugs*

And this one here I sculpted myself in a ceramics class. My mom seems to think this dino obsession of mine is something new but this guy proves she's wrong. I made him 6 years ago. >.<

Do you guys love dinosaurs as much as I do? Almost as much as I do? Or do you not like them at all, which would be *gasp* horrifying. But don't worry, I will still love you even if you happen to hate dinosaurs.

Julia :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cover Comparisons [10]

In my opinion The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff had one of the most gorgeous and eerie covers of 2010. I could buy that book just for its cover. Anyway it wasn't until recently that I ran across the UK cover for the Replacement and seeing it made me want to do a cover comparison!

                                             US Cover                     UK Cover

US Cover: Eerie. Dark. Creepy. Absolutely perfect. I LOVE THIS COVER. It coincides with the story perfectly and its absolutely intriguing. This is definitely one of my favorite cover designs ever. Oh and it's shiny. Always a plus. :)

UK Cover: The UK cover just doesn't have the same "wow" factor that the US cover has. It still gives off dark and mysterious vibe but it doesn't have the same intrigue as the US cover. Also I'm not a huge fan of having full pictures of the protagonist on covers. I like to be able to build my own image of the character in my mind.

So who wins? Definitely the US cover. Its captures the essence of The Replacement perfectly. The UK cover is fine, but it just can't compare to the brilliant US cover.

Which cover of The Replacement do YOU like best? Be sure to vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments about why you made your decision!

Julia :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top 100 YA Books list

I've seen this lovely list floating around the blogosphere a ton this week. Its spreading like the flu! Haha. Anyway I first saw this list over at iLive, iLaugh, iLove books, but apparently the "original" post came from here where they said this list originated from blogs over in Sweden? Yeah, its confusing... >.<

All the books I've read are orange.

1.Alex Finn – Beastly
2.Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3.Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4.Ally Condie – Matched
5.Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6.Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7.Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8.Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9.Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10.Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11.Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12.Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13.Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14.Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15.Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
16.Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17.Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
18.Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19.Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20.Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21.Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22.Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23.Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24.Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25.Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26.Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27.Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28.Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29.J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30.James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31.James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32.Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33.Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34.Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35.John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36.John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37.John Green – Looking for Alaska
38.John Green – Paper Towns
39.Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40.Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41.Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42.Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (12)
43.Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44.Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45.Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46.Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47.Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48.M.T. Anderson – Feed
49.Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50.Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51.Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52.Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
53.Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54.Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55.Mary Ting – Crossroads
56.Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57.Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58.Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59.Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60.Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61.Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62.Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63.Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64.Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65.Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66.Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67.Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68.Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69.Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70.Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71.Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72.P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
73.Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74.Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75.Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76.Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77.Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78.Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79.S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80.Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81.Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82.Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83.Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84.Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85.Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
86.Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87.Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88.Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89.Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90.Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91.Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92.Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93.Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94.Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95.Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96.Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97.Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98.Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99.Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100.Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Total: 38/100 and with 97 books read!

YAY! There are definitely some books on this list that I still want to read (remind me again why I haven't read Looking for Alaska by John Green?) and then there are some that I never want to read (hello Twilight series!) and of course there are the books I'm ashamed to say I've read (uhhhh no one was supposed to know I read those Melissa de la Cruz books.... IT WAS A SECRET!!!!)

What books have you guys read on this list? Have you already posted this list on your blog? Put a link in the comments so I can see it!

Julia :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Words Wednesday [26]

A chance for me to highlight some of my favorite book quotes! This week's quote is from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

"It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can't see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.

She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her to be. That Bunny Rabbit is dead."

This quote is the perfect example of why I LOVE this book. Frankie is such a badass. She is definitely on my list of favorite fictional females. You can't buy awesomeness like hers.

If you haven't read this book yet go read it now. Seriously, its amazing.

Julia :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz
by A.S. King
323 Pages
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Source: Library

Vera's spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she's kept a lot of secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone - the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

In a Nutshell: A refreshingly real contemporary about love, loss, and what it really means to be a friend.

Putdownability Factor: I could have read this in one sitting if I had time. It was that good.

Cover Love: I'm embarrassed to admit this but it took me till halfway through the book to realize that the image on this cover was a zippo lighter and not a coffee mug on a desk..... >.< Now that I know what it is I totally get it and I think the cover is perfect.

My Thoughts

I LOVED this book. From the sassy and sarcastic narrative to the hilarious flow charts Please Ignore Vera Dietz was just pure awesome. And can I just say that Vera Dietz is like my literary twin? Yep, I love her. She was witty, and fun, and if she were a real person I would totally want to be her best friend.

What was so great about Please Ignore Vera Dietz was that A.S. King was really able to capture the struggles of teenagedom in all its glory. Parent problems. Longing to prove yourself. Breaking free from your past. All of it. It was so achingly real. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is definitely the most relatable (and enjoyable!) contemporary I've read all year.

If you're looking for a book with a fresh teen voice and a story that is honest, relatable, and just absolutely amazing then Please Ignore Vera Dietz is for you. I give it 5 out of 5 ice cream cones!

Oh and the author A.S. King is coming to Arizona next month! I AM SO EXTREMELY PSYCHED!!!! :D

Julia :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Fanciful Tote bag

This week's Kawaii Monday features a fanciful tote bag! A good friend of mine spent the summer in Hong Kong and she brought me back all sorts of goodies. One of them was this super cute tote bag covered in super cute fanciful images. At first I thought they were pictures from fairytales but when I took a closer look I realized I couldn't actually match any of the pictures to a fairytale.... Hehe. But the bag is still super cute! Take a look:

I think this is my favorite image on the bag. I just love the cute kids with the butterflies. However that creature there to the left that looks like a devil and its starting to creep me out.....

 A random church with a graveyard. I love the dead tree image though.

Awww yes another one of my favorite images. ITS AN AX MURDERER!!!!! Okay not really but I just love that ax wielding guy. I know, I'm weird. >.< Plus: ITS A BUNNY RABBIT!

So anyway its an awesome tote bag. I love that you could basically write a story based off of any of the images on it. I think this bag is going to be my designated Library book bag. Oh and did I mention that the the fabric on the inside of the bag is a polka dot pattern? AWESOME.

Julia :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox Vlog [22]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at the lovely blog The Story Siren. The point is to blog about books that you have somehow procured during the week!

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Tighter by Adele Griffin

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (Signed!)

iPad 2
Ashes bookmarks

In case you guys didn't watch the vlog, I was able to attend the launch party for Ashes at the Changing Hands Bookstore! It was my first book event and I really loved it. The author Ilsa J. Bick was a really wonderful person. I just loved listening to her talk about her book and her life. Anyway that was a super fun event and I can't wait to go to more author events in the future!

So that's what I got "In My Mailbox" this week. What did you guys get?

Julia :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cover Comparisons [9]

 I'm a HUGE Sarah Dessen fan. In fact it was her books that really got me into reading YA. So for this week's cover comparison I thought we would look at the US and UK covers of some of Sarah Dessens books!

US Covers
UK Covers

 US Covers: These covers are basically the perfect examples of the classic stock photo YA cover. There's nothing to special about these covers. They definitely wouldn't stand out in a crowd. That being said I do like that none of the covers show a face. I love it when I can imagine characters for myself.

UK Covers: These covers are GORGEOUS. They are so artistic and unique and I absolutely love the color schemes especially against the black. It really makes everything pop! You can tell that there was a lot of thought put into these covers especially the way little parts of the story are sprinkled throughout. These are definitely some of the most unique and creative covers I've seen.
So who wins? The UK covers! They're unique and quirky and you can tell that each book is really something special. I get that the US covers are more mainstream and contemporary, but Sarah Dessen books are amazing and they deserve amazing covers, and the UK covers are AMAZING. I would buy the UK versions just for the covers!

Which Sarah Dessen cover's are YOUR favorite? Be sure to vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments about why you made your decision!

One last question: Which UK cover is your favorite? I think mine is Lock and Key!

Julia :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review: Wither

Thanks to modern science, every newborn has become a ticking genetic time bomb - males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape - to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

In A Nutshell: Wither is hands down one of the best dystopian novels of 2011.

Putdownability Factor: Don't start reading this at night or you'll probably end up sleepless. Just saying

Cover Love: Gorgeous. I also love how everything on the cover is symbolic. Plus: ITS SHINY!

My Thoughts

Oh. My. Gosh. Did I seriously put off reading Wither for 6 whole months? I'm ashamed to say it but yes, yes I did. You can all say it. I am an idiot. I feel like an idiot for not reading Wither sooner. Why? Because its FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.

Lauren DeStefano's writing can be summed up in one word: captivating. Within one page (ONE PAGE!) I was sucked into the world of Wither. Lauren's prose and imagery is absolutely fantastic. Its beautiful, and moving, and once I started reading I found myself never wanting it to end. Its that good.

The funny thing about Wither is its so unputdownable but it isn't an action dystopian. It's not The Hunger Games with arrows flying. It's not The Forest of Hands and Teeth with the fear of zombies at every turn. It's Wither, where people play mini golf, go to galas, and one of the only exciting things that happens is the characters getting shuffled off to the basement during hurricane season. But even so, this story gripped hold of me and it didn't let me go till the final page. There was mystery, and intrigue, and a super creepy villain who always kept me on my toes. In short, Wither proved to me that a dystopian doesn't need hip weaponry and pulse pounding action in order to grab my attention. And I'm SO glad it did!

I can't end this review without mentioning one last thing that made Wither great: The characters. Each character Lauren DeStefano has created is superb. Rhine is a great protagonist who is tough and free-spirited. Her sister wive's Jenna and Cicely are equally amazing and multi-faceted characters. I loved watching the relationship between them and Rhine grow throughout the novel. I can't wait to see how Lauren DeStefano continues to develop her characters in future books!

Wither is an amazing dystopian novel. It may not have the adventure elements that over dystopians have, but what it lacks in action it makes up for in beauty, great characters, and emotional depth. I give Wither 5 out of 5 ice cream cones.

Read Wither. You won't be disappointed.

Julia :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bookish Questions: Do you lend out your books?

About a week ago I lent my copy of Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker to one of my very good friends. I didn't think much of it until I actually got to giving him the book. As I was handing it to him my mind started going crazy thinking up all sorts of "worst possible scenarios" for what could happen to the book. What if he accidentally rips the pages? What if he bends the spine? What if he spills food or water on it? And worst of all: What if he actually manages to LOSE MY PRECIOUS BOOK?!?!?!

This silly little situation made me realize something awful: I am a selfish book owner. I'm the kind of book owner who guards their books like a hawk and doesn't let anyone touch them for fear of water damage or fingerprints. Sound ridiculous? Yes, it is. I do realize I'm a bit paranoid..... >.<

So my question to you guys is: Do you lend out your books to friends? Or do you have a book lending phobia like I do?

Julia :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday [12]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking The Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi!

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


I'll admit I wasn't sold on this book at first. I thought (and still do think actually) that the cover is a bit weird... But then I read this review of Shatter me by Novel Thought and she convinced me that this book is gonna be amazing. Tough female heroine? Awesome dystopian setting? CUTE GUY CHARACTER? Yeah, I'm sold. :)

Sadly Shatter Me won't be released till November 15th. But, in the meantime you can go and enter to win 1 of 20 copies over at GoodReads!

Oh and be sure to stalk, errrrr I mean follow the authors blog! Its pretty dang awesome.

Julia :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: The Kid Table

It's there at every family event. A little smaller, collapsible, and decked out with paper napkins because you can't be truested with the good ones. But you're stuck there. At the Kid Table. Because to them - to the adults - you're still a kid.

Ingrid Bell and her five teenage cousins are in exactly this situation. Never mind the fact that high school is almost over; they're still eating mac and cheese with a toddler. But what happens when the rules change? When Brianne, the oldest cousin, lands a seat at the Adult Table, the others are in shock. What does it take to graduate from the Kid Table?

Over the course of five family events, Ingrid and her cousins attempt to finish childhood and send the infamous table into retirement. But as Ingrid turns on the charm in order to manipulate her situation, the family starts questioning her motives. And when her first love comes in the form of first betrayal (he's Brianne's boyfriend), Ingrid is forced to consider how she fits into this family and what it means to grow up.

In a Nutshell: The Kid Table is a slightly fun, but mostly stale look at family life and what it means to grow up.

Putdownability Factor: Meh. Lets just say you won't be losing any sleep over it.

Cover Love: Sophisticated and eye-catching. Also, nothing says "The Kid Table" like macaroni and cheese on a fork! XD

My Thoughts

When I first read the summary of The Kid Table I knew I had to read it. Why? Because the whole kid table thing is basically the story of my life down to eating food at a card table with the toddlers. Even the "how do you graduate from the Kid Table?" question has been brought up among my teen cousins at several family get togethers. I kid you not. Anyway that being said I was actually a bit disappointed by The Kid Table. Overall it was an okay book, but there were aspects to the story that just didn't work for me.

The biggest problem I had with The Kid Table was that the main plot device was the secret romance between Ingrid and Brianne's boyfriend Trevor. 1. It was mega awkward. 2. IT WAS JUST PLAIN AWKWARD. All I could think while reading was "Gosh girl you are SUCH a homewrecker!" which definitely isn't a good thing, especially when Ingrid spends half the book trying to convince you (and her family) that she isn't a psychopath. :P

Because of this plot problem The Kid Table ended up lacking a real point. It flopped around from one problem to another (eating disorders, homosexuality, etc) but it never seemed to flow. The story never really went anywhere, and I'm STILL trying to figure out what the point of all of it was.

That being said there were some parts of The Kid Table that I really did love. The camaraderie between the cousins was a highlight of the book for me. Andrea Seigel captured the cousin bond perfectly. I also loved the humor in The Kid Table. Family humor is oftentimes the funniest and that definitely came through in this book!

I can't end this review without mentioning that the last 50 pages of this book were absolutely hilarious. Think While You Were Sleeping (if you haven't seen this awesome 90's chick flick YOU ARE MISSING OUT!) on steroids! My brothers kept telling me to shut up but I couldn't hold in the laughter. Seriously, its almost worth it reading this book just for those last 50 pages. XD

The Kid Table gets 3 out of 5 cupcakes.

Who would I recommend this to: If you're reading the summary of the Kid Table and thinking "Story of my life!" then you might want to pick this up. 

Julia :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kawaii Monday: Mustache Eraser

This week's Kawaii Monday features a cute mustache eraser! I'm really into the whole mustache fad right now. I know its a bit lame (I've never been one for fads) but this is a cooler fad then most so I'm rolling with it. Anyway while I was in California I went to my favoritest book store ever Bookshop Santa Cruz (seriously guys its heaven on earth) and they had these cute mustache erasers. Being the great eraser collector that I am I had to buy one.

Attractive no? I kid, I kid.... XD

Honestly, this mustache eraser isn't so much cute as it's cute what you can do with it. I just wish that it was a pencil topper. What could be funnier then having a mustache on the end of your pencil and holding it over your lip during a boring college lecture am I right? 

If you want to join in the 'stache revolution you can buy this guy here.

Julia :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox Vlog [21]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at the lovely blog The Story Siren. The point is to blog about books that you have somehow procured during the week!

Hardly any books this week makes for a nice short vlog. YAY! Especially nice after my mammoth of a vlog last week.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Family by Micol Ostow
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Signed Slide Bookmarks (thanks Jill Hathaway! You can find out how to get your own here.)
Mushroom Erasers

That's what I got "In My Mailbox" this week! What did you guys get?

One last thing guys, I redesigned my blog a few days ago and would love to know what you think. Go ahead and vote in the poll on the left with your opinion. Thanks!

Julia :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I read: August Recap


I think I'm gonna go cry now....... *sob* :(

August was a pretty good reading month for me. I would have liked to read more (I always wish I had read more. :P) but still, I got to nearly 10 books and that's a lot right? At this rate I'll meet my 100 books for 2011 goal! Anyway here's what I read this month:

1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
2. Amplified by Tara Kelly
3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
4. The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel
5. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
6. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
7. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
8. Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Surprising
Wither! For some reason I kept putting off reading this one (I have no clue why since I love dystopian stuff) but I finally bit the bullet and read it and it blew me away! One word: AMAZING

That would be a tie between Beauty Queens and The Kid Table. Beauty Queens because its not everyday you read a book about stranded pageant contestants, and The Kid Table for its infamously weird book trailer.

Amplified for its band boys, Santa Cruz setting, and excess use of eyeliner. :)

Most Badass
Blood Red Road wins this one hands down. Saba is the epitome of badass. LOVE HER.

Living Dead Girl and Miles From Ordinary both win this one. Nothing says dark like kidnappers and attempted suicide.

Overall Favorite
Definitely Wither. Its gorgeous imagery and prose had me captivated from the first page. If you haven't read it yet YOU NEED TO!!!!

What were some of your favorite August reads?

Julia :)

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